What Bikes Will Team Sunweb Use At The Tour De France?
With the world’s biggest cycling race nearly here, we thought we’d have a closer look at some of the bikes that will be used by Team Sunweb over the course of the three-week grand tour. Starting on Saturday 7th July until 29th July and covers 3,351 kilometres, the equipment the riders use is vital to make the ride as easy and comfortable on their bodies as possible.
As you’d expect, the team use top of the range bikes and components, with no expense spared in giving the team the best chance possible to hunt for stage wins and compete at the top of the general classification.
TCR Advanced SL
The TCR is a legendary road machine with over twenty years of grand tour heritage – no wonder it’s the primary bike of choice for most of Team Sunweb riders, including GC hopeful Tom Dumoulin. The team opt for the ISP (integrated seat post) version which improves stiffness and reduces weight.
It's a popular choice amongst most riders, as it offers an all-round package, with its lightweight carbon frame and unbeatable stiffness-to-weight ratio making climbing just that little bit easier, whilst still offering excellent performance in the sprints. It’s the go-to bike for the team in most stages and will certainly be advantageous in the third week of the tour when the race hits the high mountains.
Team Sunweb have a top-tier partnership with bike component makers Shimano, so the bike comes equipped with a full Dura-Ace Di2 9170 groupset including their in-built Powermeter. Giant finishing kit, such as bars, saddles and wheels, complete the team’s build.
The team have already experienced success using this new for 2018 set-up, including Soren Kragh Andersen winning Stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse and Tom Dumoulin coming second in this year's Giro D’Italia, so the TCR Advanced SL is a proven grand tour performer.
Propel Advanced SL Disc
The Propel Advanced SL Disc was launched at last years tour and instantly became a favourite for the sprinters such as Michael Matthews. Matthews won the coveted Green jersey in last years tour and will be looking to defend this by sprinting for points throughout the three-week race.
The Propel is designed for when every second counts, and is usually reserved for the flat stages, where riders can make the most of the aerodynamic benefits. The Propel is engineered with Giant’s AeroSystem Shaping technology, which means that every tube shape and angle is optimised for minimal drag. Watch out for the sprints, where the Propel Advanced SL Disc will certainly be fighting it out amongst the peloton.
Similar to the TCR, the Propel is completed with top of the range Dura-Ace Di2 disc groupset and Giant’s own proprietary bars, stem, saddles and wheels to finish off the ultimate speed machine.
The Trinity Advanced Pro is a proven race winner and has already been ridden to many victories, not least beneath Tom Dumoulin when he won the 2017 World Time Trial Championships. As a result of this, Dumoulin will now ride a custom painted TT bike adorned with the rainbow stripes of the world champion. The rest of the team will ride the Trinity Advanced Pro in team colours.
The Trinity Advanced Pro has been engineered using Computational Fluid Dynamics and dynamic wind-tunnel testing and delivers supreme aerodynamic performance. Although this year's tour only has 66.5km of time trialling (the lowest in the history of the tour), including a team time trial, the time trial can prove to be pivotal, so the wind-cheating Trinity will be an important weapon in the team's arsenal and Tom Dumoulin’s quest for the top spot.
Like the team's other bikes, the Trinity Advanced Pro will be equipped with a Dura Ace groupset and Giant finishing kit. Whether or not we will see the team using the Giant Prototype Full Disc rear wheel that Dumoulin rode earlier this year, will likely depend upon the weather conditions on the day.
Team Sunweb use a mixture of partners for their rider gear, with the clothing partner Exteondo and Sunglasses provider Oakley amongst the most prominent. They do however still use some Giant accessories, especially as it’s a great opportunity for testing out new products on the harshest critics and in the toughest environments.
Starting with the helmets, riders have the choice between the lightweight Rev or the more aerodynamic Pursuit helmet. The Rev is usually favoured due to the increased ventilation and lighter weight, with the sprinters opting for the Pursuit during sprint stages to make the most of their power in the battle for the finish line. For the sole individual time trial stage, riders will wear the Rivet TT.
Team Sunweb will be trialling prototype Giant road shoes, scheduled for release later this year, so watch this space...
05 July 2018